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Is it Possible to Survive on Lizard Meat?

Lizard Meat
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  jared422_80

Lizard Meat, doesn’t sound very hearty does it? The question in my mind is, would it be possible to survive off lizard meat? The first thing you’re probably thinking is, “Why in the world would I want to?”
First of all, lizard meat doesn’t sound too tasty and I could think of a thousand other critters that would probably be better tasting. But for the sake of discussion, let’s assume you were trapped in a forest somewhere with nothing to eat and no hopes for a rescue in the near future. I would imagine one of the first things going through your mind would be, “I wonder where the waiter is”! lol, just kidding. It would be “What am I going to eat to survive?” That would of course be the most concerning thing, aside from finding water.
Most vegetated areas like forests have an abundance of lizard species crawling through the trees, so if these were the only animals around you would have to eat them, right? I certainly don’t think any of you would want to slice a nice hunk of meat off your own backside and chow down on that…or would you? Uhh, Never mind….let’s move on, that’s a topic for another discussion.

Is there Enough Lizard Meat?

When I think of a lizard I normally think of those little critters that are always stuck to your screen door during the summer. But some species of lizard actually grow to be pretty good sized. I’m not necessarily talking about a Gila Monster size, but some are known to grow about as long as your hand, but may not weigh any more than a tenth of an ounce. That sounds more like an horderve to me rather than a meal.


According to the information I’ve researched, lizard meat will normally have about 50 calories per ounce, about the same as chicken. So let’s assume a sub-par diet would consist of around 1,500 calories a day. Of course if you were deserted and lost, chances of you getting that many calories in a day would be very slim. But, moving on… A 1,500 calorie diet a day would mean you’d have to consume about two pounds of lizard meat each day. We’re talking like, 100-300 lizards each and every day just to maintain.


Considering the huge quantity of lizards we’re talking about, there’s hardly enough hours in the day to hunt for that many.


Capturing the Lizard Meat

As you can imagine, getting all that lizard meat would be a daunting task to say the least. Lizards are normally quite small and run very fast, and let’s not forget the small spaces they can crawl into. They are also very spooky creatures and it doesn’t take much movement to send them darting into the nearest crevice.


So your best bet would be assembling some sort of trap system, or possibly making small spears or stickers out of the sticks and limbs available. You certainly wouldn’t want to smash them, that would just make a mess of your dinner. Some survivalists would recommend preying on something a little slower, such as frogs and snakes. Frogs and snakes are quite a bit slower and not as good at darting and being evasive.


But since we’re hunting lizards here, it would be best to focus most of your efforts trying to capture them in the early morning hours. That’s because they are slower due to lack of sunlight. The warmer they become, the livelier they get. So you may want to keep that in mind.


Once you’ve captured your days catch it’s time to consume. Now you can’t just plop them in your mouth and munch down. Lizard meat has to be cooked thoroughly because the raw lizard meat has many parasites. But the good thing is, they are unable to carry any blood diseases due to their cold blooded nature. But there are some lizards that are poisonous, so when cleaning them you want to be sure and get any venom sacks that may be present.


Is Lizard Meat a Fine Cuisine?

Believe it or not, lizard meat is actually considered fine cuisine in some parts of the world. For instance, China’s Guangdong province considers the lizard meat to be a delicacy and it’s gotten so bad that their government had to regulate the wild-animal markets. Their main concern was the disease outbreaks.


Vietnam is home to a species of lizard that is thought to bring male virility. While parts of Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines have many lizard meat recipes and use them regularly. So I definitely know where I WON’T be going for vacation this year! lol

So in conclusion, given the size and weight of the lizards, and the huge amount of time and skill it would take to get a pile of lizard meat big enough to survive on, it just seems impossible to me. But I guess if you were buying your lizard meat at the market, then you could get plenty of pounds and eat pretty good on it. I would imagine you could survive on it in that respect. But as far as using it for your only food source if you were lost in the woods, highly unlikely. You would have to find something else to supplement your diet.
Have you ever eaten lizard meat? I hear it tastes like chicken!

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18 thoughts on “Is it Possible to Survive on Lizard Meat?
  1. When I imagine the situation when I’m on a desert island with only coconuts and lizards, I feel ok about that. I’m pretty sure that one can survive with these two ingredients pretty long. Have you seen Cast away with Tom Henks? There is a bright example of the desire to live!

    1. Yah that’s very true Martin. The Will to live is very strong although the struggle might would be finding enough lizards to sustain life.

      I have see Cast Away, that’s such a great movie! It’s hard to believe they were able to make a movie that only had 1 actor in it through the majority of the movie and get away with that. But they did an amazing job!

    1. Hey Rummy!!! Yah I’m not so sure it would taste too great. They say you mostly have to eat the skins because there isn’t a whole lot of meat on them. Just the possibility of them being poisonous would freak me out.

    1. yah, it would take quite the sack full of lizards to survive each day. Probably not the best plan for nourishment. But something cool to ponder none the less.

  2. lizard to eat in meal,it is very hard the people eating this type of animals! interesting article to read.

    1. Yah I don’t see how they do it either, but I guess when faced with a survival scenario, then human mind can ignore many things.

  3. Wow! So many posts that convince me to taste Lizard meat. I have 2 giant forest lizards awaiting to be cooked. Its over 24 hours and I’ve finally decided to give it a go. Indian Spice on Lizard Meat! Yummy…. 🙂 Good luck guys…Cheers!

    1. WOW, pretty interesting Lynton, do let us know how the meal turns out…lol

  4. I never eat this amazing food. May be I need try it. Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to read more helpful information from you. Have a nice day

    1. Well I’m not for certain how amazing the lizard would be, but I can imagine it to be certainly exotic. But when your life depended on it, I’m sure anything would be quite tasty!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by.

    1. Hi Bryan, thank you for commenting. I certainly agree with you that the lizard would be the better option. As far as the best type to buy I couldn’t help you with that as I have no experience in that area. But I must say after reviewing your link I had no idea that lizards could be so expensive 😮 Good luck in your search for the perfect pet for your son!

  5. Mr. Tuttle, thank you for the imaginative and informative article. I’m very curious about where you got the information you researched on the amount of calories in lizard meat: “about 50 calories per ounce, about the same as chicken.”
    Could you please provide the information source as a reference?

    1. Hi Dave, and thanks for commenting…

      If I recall correctly I believe that tid bit I picked up on a survivalist show here in the US. I don’t recall the name of the show as this post is over 2 years old and I’ve done quite a bit of sleeping since then…lol

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